Throwback Thursday, a weekly article in which we look back at our favorite TV episodes from over the years.
Buffy - Becoming Part II recap here and the Supernatural - WIaWSNB review here. Instead this is my love letter to 2 episodes I will never forget. In many ways they are direct opposites. Buffy's is a mytharc heavy season finale, while SPN's is a standalone episode that takes a break from the heavy mytharc that follows. Buffy pulls at me from a great well of sadness but SPN gives me a rare moment of joy in a bleak world. Buffy is grounded in oppressive reality while SPN takes a playful what-if tone. Still, at the core they are fundamentally the same. Two reluctant heroes sacrifice of themselves to save a world that never really appreciates them. They turn their back on their dreams and step up to make the hard choices that all true heroes have to make. It also helps that they focus on two of my favorite characters. Buffy is the role model of what teen characters should be while Dean Winchester is my favorite TV character of all time.
The Synopsis: (includes spoilers and the ending)
The Emotional Pull:
1. Spike: "The truth is I like this world. You've got dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's alright here."
2. Angelus: "So that's everything, huh? No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take all that away and what's left?" Buffy: "Me."
3. Angelus: "Since when did you become so levelheaded?" Spike: "Right about the time you became so pigheaded. You have your way with him, you'll never get to destroy the world and I don't fancy spending the next month trying to get librarian out of the carpet."
4. Buffy: "Open your eyes mom. What do you think has been going on for the past 2 years? The fights, the weird occurrences. How many times have you washed blood out of my clothing and you still haven't figured it out?" Joyce: "Well it stops now." Buffy: "No, it doesn't stop. It never stops. Do you think I chose to be like this? Do you have any idea how lonely it is, how dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or God, even studying, but I have to save the world. Again."
5. Buffy: "Let me clear this up for you. We're mortal enemies. We don't get timeouts." Spike: "You want to go a round, pet, I'll have a gay old time of it. You want to stop Angel, we're going to have to play this a bit differently."
1. Dean: "This is dangerous and you could get hurt." Sam: "Yeah and so could you, Dean." Dean: "Sam…" Sam: "Look whatever stupid thing you're about to do, you're not doing it alone and that's that." Dean: "I don't understand. Why are you doing this?" Sam: "Because you're still my brother."
2. Dean: "Well…uh, the djinn. It attacked me." Sam: "The gin? You're drinking gin?"
3. Dean: "B**." Sam: "What are you calling me a b** for?" Dean: "You're supposed to say jerk."
4. Dean: "Aww Aunty Em, there's no place like home." Sam: "Thank God. I thought I lost you for a second." Dean: "You almost did."
5. Dean: "This isn't gonna make a lick of sense to you, but I kind of feel like I've been given a second chance and I don't want to waste it."
1. Close Your Eyes (Buffy/Angel theme) was written by Christophe Beck, who also composed for Frozen and another zillion other shows and movies. It is one of my favorite pieces of instrumental music and perfect for the scene where Angel is restored and Buffy has to kill him. The bittersweet mood is captured in the slow, almost dirge-like pace and undertones and yet there are moments of beauty and light that run throughout. It's the musical equivalent of nostalgia before the dramatic swell and fadeout. Just stunning. Check it out here.
3. Full of Grace by Sarah MacLachlan. If ever there was a song that encompasses the weight of the world and desperation, this one does. And it does so beautifully. The lyrics fit exactly how Buffy feels at the end, pulled under by darkness and needing to let go of it all in order to find some solid ground.
Screencaps by A Hell of a Woman, Buffy Wikia, Fanpop, Jet Wolf, Angelfire, Carlos Nightman, Fan Forum, Moley 75, Deviant Art, Media Cache, Pinterest, TV Tropes, Supernatural TV, SPN Jensen Love, Tumblr, and me.